About PDA Group


PDA Entertainment Group is pleased to present to you one of the largest, most diverse comprehensive website of distinguished personalities in the world! We have over 2,500  performing artists and entertainers, including spokespeople from the worlds of politics, science, sports, literature and theater. In arranging for a guest speaker or performer through PDA you may select national and international leaders, distinguished, athletes, journalists, newscasters, comedians, musicians, performing artists, spoken word, celebrities of the stage and screen and observers of the contemporary scene. All are dynamic, eloquent personalities whose ideas and actions have had an impact on the broad tapestry of human thought and endeavor.

On our web site you will find listed the people who perform on the issues and the events which will affect our lives in 2018 and beyond. Our website is designed to assist you in finding programs most appropriate for the needs of your particular group. We hope you will enjoy looking through it and will e-mail or call us sometime soon to let us know more about your organization. Your account executive at PDA is trained to make recommendations that suit your interests, your own style of programming and your budget requirements.

Whether you are in the market for a superstar or a blockbuster series, a modestly priced package of events, or a single reliable program, we can provide excellent suggestions. It is our belief that good programming depends on thoughtful and sensitive recommendations. As our reputation depends on your success, you can be assured that we will do our best to assist you.

PDA Entertainment Group is very proud of its fine reputation. Since we are a service organization, we are constantly looking to find better ways to assist you. We see our job as a continual one that extends far beyond the time of any booking and requires that we take all steps needed to insure the smooth successful running of you program. You have our word that we will continue to strive for excellence in the caliber of speakers, entertainers and performers we represent and in the quality of our service to you.

We are proud that PDA Entertainment Group has become one of the country’s leading entertainment agencies. We've reached the top of our profession because of our quality service and the trust and confidence you have had in us. We are grateful for the privilege of working with you and we hope to continue to do so for many years to come.

An American Tradition

Even back in the 1800’s the lecture and entertainment circuit was alive in America. In churches and halls from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, people hungry for information paid its dimes and dollars for an evening’s entertainment. Often the society into which they grouped themselves was called a "lyceum". In 1831 the American Lyceum Association, now called the International Platform Association, was founded to institute a chain of societies for weekly lectures and debates. The system flourished for years and the original lyceum format established the groundwork for our present day circuit. Daniel Webster was the country’s leading speaker in the 1830’s and was the founder and first president of the American Lyceum Association.

The first lecture bureau and entertainment agency was started in 1867 when James Redpath heard Charles Dickens discuss the hardships of lecturing in America. He decided to do something about the novelist's complaint and founded Redpath's Lyceum Bureau, which not only made life easier for itinerant lecturers and entertainers, but also organized programs for winter entertainment in all the larger cities. From the beginning, James Redpath's lyceum bureau was a success and he represented such people as Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Dickens.

In 1906, Keith Vawter originated the idea of bringing summer culture and entertainment to the small towns and rural areas. He combined culture and comedy on the same platform in a traveling tent. Vawter married the respectability of the Lyceum to the spangles of the stage, naming his presentation "Chautauqua" after the cultural institution permanently established on Lake Chautauqua, New York. The "Chautauqua Circuit" separated the pulpit from the platform and substituted footlights for the religious dimness of the Sunday schoolroom. Once launched, it became a might influence on America’s entertainment, education, politics and culture. The Chautauqua ten programs were quire varied but the lecture was the program's backbone.

Topping the list of orators were William Jennings Bryan, Robert M. La Folette and Calvin Coolidge. The serious portions of a program were tactfully leavened by performers, magicians, impersonators and puppeteers. Our web site is a tribute to the modern day lecture platform. To us, the birth date of the "Chautauqua Circuit" also symbolizes the birth of the modern lecture bureau and the entertainment agency, the first organized booking agency to arrange appearances by dignitaries and performing artists throughout the country. PDA is pleased to continue the proud tradition of Daniel Webster, the American Lyceum Association, Redpath’s Lyceum Bureau and the "Chautauqua Circuit".

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Testimonials
  • "Thank you PDA Group for your assistance on bringing Russell Simmons Def Poetry to our campus!"

    -Simone Dozier
    University of South Carolina
  • We are fortunate to have a long standing relationship with PDA Group and find them very easy to work with. I know that almost as soon as I email Peter about a guest speaker, I receive a reply and a......

    -Christine Kennedy
    Program Chair University of Texas
  • "I wanted to thank you for your services for our event. Peter and your team have been fantastic throughout this entire process. You made our event run so smooth with the assembly of Gavin's crew an......

    -Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
    Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
  • "The service provided by PDA Speakers was most helpful. We were able to give an outline of what we wanted and had some great suggestions given for the most suitable speakers. We would be happy to b......

    -Program Chair
    University of Chicago
  • Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and de......

    -Western Carolina University
  • Thank you Peter for helping us bring in the cast from MTV'S Real World to Furman University. They were great!

    -Mary Catherine Wilder Program Chair
    Furman University
  • On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we th......

    -Ferris State University
  • Being our first experience with your agency and having a great experience with the performer and you, I wanted to inquire what other forms of entertainment you offer around the same price; as this ......

    -Northern State University
  • Ms. Webb-Christburg, it was an honor to host you on our campus. Your speech was well received by everyone in attendance, and pr......

    -University of Vermont
    MLK Speaker
  • Everything went fantastic. I hope that Viola Davis and her family felt welcomed and enjoyed their time in Portland and participating in our event. The impact of her keynote was humbling and inspiri......

    -Concordia University
  • Allegra Goodman's lecture last night was wonderful! She’s a wonderful speaker and a very lovely person. We cant tha......

    -Indiana University, South Bend
  • Just a quick note to let you know Ms. Webb-Christburg did an outstanding job.  Comments ranged from mesmerizing to inspirational.  The students, faculty, staff and community all enjoye......

    -The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Rosalyn McMillan was great! Everyone really enjoyed her. Thank you, Peter Walker for your help on bring her to our campus!

    -Claflin University
  • Our thanks again to PDA Group for your help in setting up this year's program. You really helped me out in terms of saving time and I appreciated your ability to suggest speakers who were in keepin......

    -Melissia Schmidt, Program Chair
    University of Rochester
  • It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).

    -Western Michigan University
  • Thank you Peter for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one......

    -Furman University
  • Thank you Peter Walker for your assistance on bringing Hill Harper to our School. Such a success!

    -Taylor Reeves
    President African American Student Alliance
  • PDA Group assisted us in securing the services of Mr. Montel Williams as a Keynote Speaker for one of our signature events in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.  Peter was very helpful and professiona......

    -Linda D.Bradley, MD - Cleveland Clinic
  • Mr. Alex Rosner's moving presentation to our students at Bucknell University made such an important difference in their understanding of the human dimension of the Holocaust. Mr. Rosner's shared......

    -Bucknell University
  • Everything went wonderfully. Sherry Brantley was fantastic! and she was the right choice for us at this time. Thanks again for all your help.

    -Nazareth College
  • The feedback on Ilyasah Shabazz was great! She was very receptive and spent a lot of time answering questions and making a personal connection with the students. Thank you Peter for all your har......

    -Claflin University
  • Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on ......

    -Grand Valley State University
  • "Thank you Peter for arranging Jay Sean to sing at my son's Bar Mitzvah".

    -Private Client
    Bar Mitzvah featuring Jay Sean
  • Everything went very well. Mr. Johnson did a great job of interacting with the students and Q&A. Thank you again Peter for your recommendation!

    -Claflin University
  • Coach Ken Carter was fantastic! You were both inspirational and motivational. Thank you for a wonderful performance. People li......

    -Ball State University
  • PDA Group is the best. Thank you for helping us bring in MTV Jersey Shore Cast. Huge success!!

    -Ashley Weber
    Augustana College
  • "We were looking for a smaller-scale, lower budgeted for our comedy series and Peter Walker gave us some great suggestions of comedians!"

    -Audrey Cawley
    Fordham University
  • Douglas Tompkins was Outstanding!! Thank you, Peter for all your hard work.

    -Natural Products Expo East
  • "Our organization has been dealing with PDA Speakers Bureau for many years. We have found both the content and quality of speaker exceptional, making our meetings much more successful. Peter from ......

    -Program Chair
    University of Alabama
  • My interaction with Peter was great as always. This is the second year we have used PDA Speakers. We have never been disappointed with the authors that have visited us.

    -Program Chair
    University Of Michigan
  • "The Langston Hughes Project attracted the most diverse audience I have ever seen on our campus.  Young and old, black and white, students and teachers, university administrators and community......

    -Dr. Peter Madsen
    University of Nebraska-Omaha
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    Grand Valley State University welcomed Dr. Antonia Novello Wednesday, Sept. 27, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Novello was the first woman, and the first Hispanic, to be appointed the 14th surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service in 1990.

    Dr. Cynthia McCurren, dean of the Kirkhof College of Nursing at GVSU, introduced Novello through a personal memory of Novello’s appointment in 1990 and the important role that she not only played in her own life, but in the public health sphere as well.

    “As an individual that’s been in nursing for over 30 years, and therefore more broadly in health care, I’m very much impressed and influenced by those who provide leadership and who take on the responsibility of the leadership as much as at the national person,” McCurren said. “This is a person that I remember her appointment when I was going through my times working in health care, and my continuing to work in health care, she has made an impression on me.”

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    Carla Harris isn't your average banker.

    In addition to being the vice chairman of wealth management at Morgan Stanley (ms, +0.82%), Harris chairs the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), an advisory panel to Congress and President Barack Obama on economic issues important to female business owners. And she sings. Really, really well. So well, in fact, that she's had four of her Carnegie Hall concerts sell out entirely.

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    17.10.2017
    May is Jewish American Heritage Month! Celebrate Jewish Americans who have helped weave the fabric of American history, culture and society with some of our well-known Jewish speakers and entertainers
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    02.04.2017
    Do you have a business conference to plan, an annual company meeting, or your monthly board meeting? Hiring a good motivational speaker is one of the best things you can do to make your event a succes
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    So much for the status quo… Research confirms what most already suspect: Continuous change is the new norm in business. Happily, in today’s highly-disruptive world, innovation is just another word
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